Games 1 and 2 provided some great excitement for everyone. We had a great prediction for those games, calling each games winner correct while also predicting a dominant first half from Verlander in Game 2 before falling victim to the long ball. Here we are once again to give our thoughts and predictions for Games 3 and 4 of the World Series.
The Astros are feeling good as the Series comes back to Houston where they have been unbeatable this postseason. The biggest takeaway from Game 2 though, is that the Astros were able to break the well oiled machine that was the Dodgers bullpen. Before Game 2, the Dodgers bullpen had only allowed just 3 runs throughout the entire postseason. Last night the Astros tagged them for 6 runs and cracked the fabric of Kenley Jansen who blew his first save of the postseason and just his second blown save of the entire 2017 season. The blown save for Jansen in Game 2 is reminiscent of Rocky Balboa cutting Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and that is bad news for Dodgers fans.
But, let’s not jump the gun just yet. The Astros still have a long way to go and their bullpen, as predicted by us, is still struggling. When the Astros scored 2 runs in the 10th inning, the Dodgers were stunned and all the Astros needed was to hold the lead. However, they gave up 2 runs in the bottom of the 10th. Once again the Astros scored 2 more runs in the 11th and once again the bullpen had a relatively easy task of recording 3 outs before the Dodgers could score 2 runs. They made sure to keep fans on the edge of their seats as they gave up 1 run but did secure the win.
The Astros currently have the momentum going into Game 3 and just like the Dodgers, the Astros have not lost a game at home this postseason. Game 3 will see Lance McCullers go up against Yu Darvish. Both Darvish and McCullers have been masterful this postseason with ERAs under 2.10. Darvish has been absolutely lights out and looks to continue his postseason success while McCullers came out rocky in the ALDS, but quickly got back on track by allowing just 1 run on 2 hits through 10 innings against the red hot Yankees offense.
Game 4, the Astros are sending in Charlie Morton while the Dodgers have yet to announce their starting pitcher. Morton got knocked around in Game 3 of the ALCS, but rebounded nicely in the most important game of his young career as he led the Astros to a Game 7 victory in the ALCS and propelled the Astros to the World Series. Astros fans are hoping that his Game 3 woes are far behind him now and the Game 7 Morton is the version that comes out in Game 4.
Game 3 will be another great rubber match between Darvish and McCullers. Both pitchers will look good through the first 4 innings. McCullers will find himself in a little trouble in the 5th inning, but will get himself out of it with minimal damage before being removed from the game. The Astros will strike in the 7th or 8th inning of this game to give them the lead and ultimately the win.
With the Astros up 2-1 in the series, the Dodgers may elect to send Kershaw out to the mound on short rest. If this happens, expect a similar performance as Game 1. He will get tagged with an early homerun that will give the Astros the lead. Working with a lead, Morton will be in a groove and hold down the Dodgers offense. With a small lead going to the Astros bullpen, they will allow the runs the Dodgers need to tie the game. Turner and Bellinger will play a big role in getting the Dodgers on the board. This game may flirt with extra innings, but the Dodgers will get the go ahead run in the 9th.
If the Dodgers go with any other pitcher, other than Kershaw, then the results may change as the Astros strike early and create some space through the first 5 innings and never look back. If Kershaw starts Game 4, Dodgers tie the series 2-2. If any other Dodgers pitcher takes the mound, the Astros lead 3-1.